Is there a potential relationship between prior hamstring strain injury and increased risk for future anterior cruciate ligament injury?
Severe knee injury increases the risk of getting a hamstring strain injury (HSI). However whether the opposite, a previous HSI increases risk of ACL-injury, is true is not investigated yet. This article describes evidence to suggest that there could be a potential link between previous HSI and increase risk of ACL-injury.
Optimal hamstring function protects the ACL by preventing excessive anterior translation of the tibia. Female athletes are more prone to ACL-injury. Compared to man, females show lower hamstring-to-quadriceps (H:Q) strength ratios, increased activation of the quadriceps compared to the hamstring during stop-jump landing and lower myoelectrical hamstring activity during a side-step. This may result in a higher risk of getting an ACL-injury. Athletes with a previous HSI also show alteration in hamstring function: lower eccentric knee flexor strength, lower H:Q ratios and lower myoelectrical activity during eccentric contraction.
Whether these alterations after HSI results in a higher risk of getting an ACL-injury requires further investigation > From Opar et al., Arch Phys Med Rehabil (2013) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.
The Pubmed summary of the article can be found here.